John McConihe, Correspondence
MS 308
Archives & Special Collections, University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries


Speculating on the Frontier: Historical Background
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Friend John

I to day[sic] recieved a letter from St. Louis announcing the loss of that $200# draft of which I advised you and asking for Duplicate which I will send. Watch them both closely and see that the one you pay is regularly endorsed & e. Do not pay but one as they are both given to pay for the house.

I am waiting anxiously to hear from you in reply to some of my letters. It is quite dull here now and there are more people to do then there is work to be done. Many young fel—lows here, like Newton, cannot "make their salt" and then everything is awfully high. The failure of the appropriation to finish the Capitol and the uncertainty of the opening of the land office, together with the great rush into Kansas, effects[sic] us considerably. There is less speculation than there was last year, still no shall make money and there is money to be made "all around," by the use and investment of money. This holding back is better for those investing than for those selling. We will nearly, if not quite, doubly our money this

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year. If the Land Office should open, we would triple our invesments sure, besides be able to pay expenses outside. I shall try hard to get along as cheap as I can, and have already cut off all "outside luxuries." I have not spent a dime (or used) tobacco Segars[sic] or liquor nor will I while here. I shall also try to speculate on my own hook, and thus pay expenses. At all events John, if you do not come out now, you will make nearly as much money as if you were here, and will save the expenses monstly.

I am worried mightily by those horses. They are not fit to sell, as the crows would not deign to feed on them. From the bay horses of last fall, they have turned into purple—walk—ing—hydes[sic] with hair an inch or two longer than last fall about an inch long and "Frisky" and "Jake" are things that were. The wagon also "blew over" in March last and was badly injured. It also is nearly ruined from standing out doors all winter. But I am spending my brains and time to do something and stop the leakage they are causing. As soon as I can get them in condition, I will sell quickly. I would be willing to give the Horses away, as it will cost as much to put them in condition as they are worth. The wagon is not

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worth over fifty dollars and the men who kept the team has worn the harnesses nearly out! But I'll "trade off" somehow. Can't sell horses now as feed is so high, unless it be real good working horses. Don't get discouraged John, for altho the above is all true, still I am vain enough to think I can, on a trade get rid of them to advantage. I may get fleeced, but it will be a hard bargain that will "do us." $10 per week for board two horses!

I see Moses is married. Lord, how unex—pected to me; I thought Tim had the inside track on the "stun road" and little expected Mose was going "to throw himself away." Tell Martin L. he must be pitching in or some—one will cut him out. Give my best regards to Mose and say "I have no doubts they will do as well as could be expected."

Ad Smith arrived here Friday and I have been with him most of the time. Glad to meet anything from Troy "formerly."

Give my regards to Martin L and his family, also to Rufus and the boys. My cold is much better and my health is likewise.

Yours truly

John MacConihe